Major Research

Calcium oxalate precipitation mechanisms related to kidney stone formation

The formation of kidney stones is a common disease developed by about 12% of the population at some point in their lives. Kidney stones may have a number of different compositions reflecting the causes of their formation. Calcium phosphate-calcium oxalate stones are the most common ones, but the cause for their formation is unknown in many cases. The current project explores a potential role of mineral replacement mechanisms of the formation of such kidney stones and the inhibiting effect of specific proteins and peptides on dissolution-precipitation reactions of the minerals involved. Processes at crystal surfaces are directly observed with an atomic force microscope (AFM) and further characterization of samples is accomplished primarily by using techniques based on scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM).